Bird nests, even without knowing which birds constructed them, seem hardly possible. Creations of spider’s web, caterpillar cocoon, plant down, mud, found modern objects, human and animal hair, mosses, lichen, feathers and down, sticks and twigs–all are woven with beak and claw into a bird’s best effort to protect their next generation.
But survival for so many birds is tenuous in a modern world where habitat loss is as common as the next housing development, and even subtle changes in climate can affect food supply. It is my hope that capturing the detailed art form of the nests in these photographs will gain appreciation for their builders, and inspire their protection.
The nest and eggs specimens, collected over the last two centuries, were photographed at The California Academy of Sciences, The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. While few nests are collected today, these nests and eggs are used for research, providing important information about their builder’s habitats, DNA, diseases and other survival issues.
The nests shown here, some collected over a century ago, were photographed by Sharon Beals. They were taken at the western foundation of vertebrate zoology in Los Angeles, which, with 18,000 specimens, now holds the world’s largest collection.
Time doesn’t fly if you’re a fly, a new study suggests. In fact, flies excel at dodging our slaps and swats because they perceive the passage of time more slowly than we do. Animals with smaller bodies and faster metabolic rates perceive time more slowly than we do, researchers say, letting them soak up more information per second.
We tend to assume time is the same for everyone, but according to research published in the journal Animal Behaviour, it has different speeds for different species. Small-bodied animals with fast metabolic rates — whether they’re house flies or hummingbirds — perceive more information in a unit of time, the study finds, meaning they experience action more slowly than large-bodied animals with slower metabolism, including humans.
If this reminds you of a certain 1999 science-fiction movie, you’re on the right track. The study was led by scientists from Ireland’s Trinity College Dublin, which issued a press release that explains the findings with a dusty pop-culture reference: “For example, flies owe their skill at avoiding rolled-up newspapers to their ability to observe motion on finer timescales than our own eyes can achieve, allowing them to avoid the newspaper in a similar fashion to the ‘bullet time’ sequence in the popular film ‘The Matrix.”
Excerpt from an article written RUSSELL MCLENDON at MNN. Continue THERE
No one wants an enemy. Few things could be more stressful and potentially damaging: We dread the nemesis vying for the same job, a rival business trying to steal customers, or the opposing sports team that always sweeps.
A half-century ago, however, a British ornithologist put forth a surprising new idea about enemies in the natural world: Maybe they aren’t always such a bad thing. In a 1954 book chapter, James Fisher suggested that territorial birds might actually gain some advantages from living near threatening rivals. He called it the “dear enemy” phenomenon: Birds that compete with their neighbors would also be bound to them in helpful ways.
Over time, the notion of the dear enemy developed and spread. Naturalists observing birds found that multiple species reserved their fiercest aggression not for next-door rivals, but for strangers. Birds that were enemies in the most obvious sense, neighbors competing directly for territory, seemed to fight less, maintaining a kind of détente with their known rivals. Biologists began to study the effect in other animals, from crabs to beavers. Today, there are dozens of studies that examine what happens when animals keep their enemies close.
Excerpt of and article written by Carolyn Y. Johnson at the Boston Globe. Continue HERE
Dukno Yoon: Intrigued by machines and their movements, mechanical structure has become the most crucial formal language throughout my body of work. Mechanical structure as a form fascinates me in two aspects. First, structural form can achieve complexity yet simplicity at once because of the ingrained logic behind it. Additionally, mechanical forms involve movement that is not random, but rather is designed or devised, and thus can be interactive. Working in particular with mechanical movements that interact with and involve viewers allows me to give vitality to objects. My wearable/kinetic works are intended to exist between jewelry and sculpture. They stand independently while their close connection to the body creates an intimate relationship with the viewer.
Constrained Wings : Built upon wind-up movement taken from an antique metronome, this piece transforms the rhythmic pendulum movement to flapping and floating wings.